Carrots and the Sticks.

During my Geography lessons when aged 13, we were introduced to metaphor of getting a donkey to move. These stubborn beasts are traditionally encouraged by dangling a carrot in front of its nose, and the use of a stick to beat it’s rear. The transport proposals for Manchester include a number of carrots (incentives) and sticks (disincentives or penalties) to get the subtantial behavioural change in transport use.

 

The Carrots.

  1. A trebling of the tram network, along with increased trams on existing lines.
  2. “We will have buses every 10 or 15 minutes on every estate in Greater Manchester. They will not be big buses but, perhaps, minibuses which would operate a feeder service to the main roads.”  Or, alternatively, more services, more frequently, on better buses.
  3. More bus lanes, to speed up traffic flows.
  4. More cycle ways, with bicycle friendly interchanges.
  5. Bus interchanges
  6. Yellow School Buses
  7. More Trains.
  8. Discounts for weekly and monthly tickets, and ease of purchase.

 

The Sticks

  1. The Congestion Charge itself, of £1 to cross the outer ring anf £2 to cross the inner ring. This is only inbound in the morning peak times and outbound in the evening peak time.
  2. The fines for none-payment of the charge. In London average £80. I would guess in Manchester it would be £30 for non-payment of a £1 toll and £60 for non-payment of the £2 toll. This would average £40 (as more outer-ring crossings). I further assume than the rate of non-payment will be the same as in London – equivalent to 4.5% of those paying.
  3. The inconveinance of purchase. There is no mention how easy the pay the fee. Are you able to block pay a month in advance, or will it be just daily? Will the fee be refundable or transferable if not used? Will it be payable online, or just a limited number of outlets? Will there be an extra fee for paying by credit card? More generally, will the objective be to make payment as easy as possible or difficult?
  4. Reducing access points to the charge areas. According to the Association of British Drivers, there will be just 14 access points (or corridors). In South Manchester, this is just A56 Chester Road, A5103 Princess Parkway and the A6. In the Wilbraham Road area, will such roads as Withington Road, Lloyd Street South, Yew Tree Road and most importantly A6010 Wilmslow Road, be blocked? I know that plans are not finalised at present, but it would be nice to know if this corridor system is part of the plans. One check, is to ask how many access points were included on the inner and outer rings in the estimated £313m cost to install the system.
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